IF THE future's electric, the future is going to be very exciting indeed if this concept, high performance saloon from Peugeot is anything to go by.
With 400bhp on tap, this very special, four-wheel-drive version of the Peugeot 508 can sprint from standstill to 60mph in less than 4.3 seconds and go on to a limited top speed of 155mph.
It's been engineered by techies at the company's Peugeot Sport Engineering division who took the all-new 508 Hybrid as a starting point and enhanced its design, performance and efficiency.
The 508PSE Concept comes with the 508 Hybrid's 1.6 litre turbo petrol engine coupled with a 110bhp electric motor which together drive the front wheels but adds a second 200bhp electric motor which powers the rear wheels.
There's an 11.8kWh battery, which gives the concept car a zero-emission range of up to 31 miles when switched to 100 per cent electric mode and CO emissions of 49g/km, on the WLTP test protocols, when in Hybrid mode.
The concept, which will be unveiled at the Geneva motor show next month, retains the classic lines of the latest 508 but has a more sporty look with a redesigned front bumper and valance, a rear diffuser and enhanced aerodynamics. Inside there are new ‘comfort-fit' seats in leather and Alcantara, a touch sensitive gear lever, an asymmetrical, compact steering wheel and a 12.3 inch head-up digital instrument display panel.
Peugeot aren't saying whether the 508PSE will go into series production, saying only that the concept is "the first step on the journey towards electrification". But given the fact that the company has already confirmed plans to develop a range of high performance electric vehicles it seems likely that a watered down version could make it onto the roads in the next year or two.
Peugeot admits that it has even surprised itself with the pace of progress towards the electrification of its range.
It has promised an electrified version of every model by 2023 with its first fully electric model set to arrive later this year. And according to the company's UK managing director, David Peel: "The work of everyone at Peugeot involved in developing our electric dream is starting to move faster than we ever thought possible."